Bearded gobies preying on jellyfish in anoxic water, conspiracies of animal warfare, sea turtle relocation in a time of environmental disaster and instances of cheating in the animal kingdom. Here are stories in ecology from the second week of July.
Bearded goby: According to research recently published in Science, gobies are not only tolerant of anoxia (lack of oxygen in water) they are the main predators of jellyfish (see above video). As Victoria Braithwaite of Pennsylvania State University and colleagues reported, “It shows for the first time that jellyfish tissue—once assumed to be a dead end for resources in the food web—can be recycled back into the ecosystem by the gobies.” Read more at “Scourge of the Jellies: Small Fish Shows How Ecosystems Adjust to Potentially Catastrophic Changes.”
Animal warfare: TIME Magazine listed the Top 10 animals used in military service throughout history. The article is a follow-up to last week’s report in the Chinese state-run People’s Daily newspaper alleging that the Afghan Taliban has begun training monkeys. Read more at “Top 10 Militant Animals.”
Sea turtle relocation: Earlier this month, conservationists relocated approximately 70,000 sea turtle eggs from Gulf Coast beaches and stored them in warehouses until they hatched. The hatchlings were released into the Atlantic Ocean last week in an attempt to protect them from encroaching oil. Read more and see photos at “Photos From the Gulf’s Great Sea Turtle Relocation.”
Vent life: Wired Science wrote: “A hydrothermal vent found more than 16,000 feet under the sea could harbor life unlike any other yet found, adapted for conditions so extreme that water gas and liquid no longer have separate states.” It is the second known vent to resemble seafloor conditions on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Read more at “Deep-Sea Vent Discovery Sets Hydrothermal Life’s New Depth Record.”
China’s waters: Last week, two polluted Chinese bodies of water were mentioned in the news: waste water from the Zijinshan mine has contaminated China’s Fujian province and two oil pipelines exploded in the port city of Dalian affecting the Yellow Sea. Read more at “China’s Latest Environmental Ills: Oil Spills and Copper Mines.”